Skip to main content

tv   [untitled]    July 16, 2011 11:00am-11:30am PDT

11:00 am
with him in these tough budget times. you know, i never thought i would see the day where i'd be even for a second entertaining the idea of a tax. i thought i would never be one of those people. but it's easier when you're just walking down the street to say no taxes than when you're in a position that makes a difference. that said, it is pretty gentle. we are going from reduction -- we're still seeing a net reduction, which i think is really good. and the fact that this is an integral part of the mayor's budget plan, which i think he's doing a really good job on and everybody's supporting it, including labor and other stake holders. we've got to support this, in my opinion. but i would like to modify the motion on the table to add a line that we do not want to see
11:01 am
a situation where that 1% in a year -- i mean, the answer that he gave is probably essentially and necessarily technical in nature regarding legal policy. i kind of half understand it. but if that's the only component that's going to be locked into the uncertainty, what goes on at the state budget, then i'm kind of thinking, well, if we want to remove other things that are unpredictable because of the state, ok. but if this one thing has to be engaged to it, then leave it there for as long as it needs to be there. and if they bring it back, then it gets removed automatically. i just don't want to leave open the possibility that they can encrease it after 12 months. and we're not protective with a mandatory statement that says we have to take it away. i'd rather see it in there. so i'd like to propose, if i may, to somehow amend the motion
11:02 am
that the language is in there that that's locked in there. i don't know how to put that in there. if i could get some help with that. >> i would just saito tally agree with you on that and i agree with commissioner dooley, to purport the motion to help support this. but however, i would like to add in the motion that if the state rescinds the sales tax, that this state tax would go away. president o'brien: without a year lock. >> would that be if the state reimposes? >> yes. if the state reimposes, this goes away. president o'brien: if i may, i -- >> if i may, i appreciate the suggestion. just in terms of a process, we're going to now have this legislation before the board of
11:03 am
supervisors, so if it pleases the commission and it fits the intent, one thing that you might consider adding is encouraging the mayor and the board of supervisors to consider amendments to the legislation to extend that period of time. since we actually would have to make that amendment at the board that would provide a direction about the commission's intent, i think that the mayor and the board could use and have a specific direction of what type of action you'd like to see in that process. >> that would then put the amendment on there to rescind this if the state comes back. president o'brien: do you have that, chris? >> yes. >> commissioners, we do not have a second. >> second. president o'brien: we do now. >> and very loudly.
11:04 am
president o'brien: do we need to take a roll call? >> would you like a roll call? president o'brien: yeah, please. commissioner adams. vice-president adams: yes. >> commissioner clyde. commissioner clyde: yes. >> commissioner dooley. commissioner dooley: yes. >> commissioner kasselman. commissioner kasselman: yes. >> commissioner o'brine: president o'brien: yes. >> commissioner riley. president riley: yes. >> that item passes. item number six, discussion and possible action to make recommendation to the board of supervisors. file number 101497. police code prohibiting the use of open top buses. amending section 46 to clarify that the definition in that section does not include open top tour buses. amending to clarify that noise
11:05 am
restrictions do not apply to city agencies, adding a new section for the use of amplified sound on seeing buses in san francisco, except where sound is only audible to individual users. we have a presentation by a legislative aid to supervisor david chiu. >> good evening, i am here representing the office of supervisor david chiu, the sponsor of the legislation before you. supervisor chiu introduced this offensive coordinator nance several months ago in order to address noise concerns from open air tour buses with amplified sound. while we all recognize the importance of tourism as one of the primary economic engines for the city, supervisor chiu has been hearing from many residents across the city that their quality of life is being negatively impacted. they can destroy the peace and quiet of residential streets as well as hinder the enjoyment of those utilizing outdoor seating
11:06 am
and other amenities outside the corridors. we also worked with other groups to come up with a proposal before you. the legislation would require tour bus operators to discontinue using electronic amplification systems in their ohm air sightseeing buses. in 2010, new york city enacted similar legislation and tour bus destinations around the world have been using headphones systems for years. also notably, recently in san francisco, there's a precedent, one of the major tour bus companies switched entirely over to headphones systems. as the legislation is currently written, it goes into effect in july of 2011, so obviously we have to make that amendment. and we will be meeting with representatives from different tour bus operators in the next few weeks to come up with some
11:07 am
ideas of when a good sound and reasonable implementation timeline, what that would look like. new york city gave their companies a five-year window to implement the changes with percentages every year of how much the fleets had to be moved over to loud speakers. but in san francisco, because we don't have a permitting system like new york city does, we sort of -- we just have to choose a date and we can't phase it in. so last week, i had the opportunity to meet with a policy committee and they made several recommendations, all of which the sponsor is very open to. i'm happy to answer your questions. thank you. president o'brien: commissioners, any questions? >> are you going to include the open-sided vehicles along with open-topped? >> yes, we're talking to the city attorney about changing the wording.
11:08 am
>> thank you. president o'brien: commissioner kasselman? commissioner kasselman: do you know the cost? >> they said per bus it's $12,000 to $15,000, so to buy a whole new bus with the system in place, it's like 80,000 to 100,000, but if you're just retro fitting an existing bus, it's around 1 to 15. . >> the same would apply to the guy who goes across the bay bridge? this is a huge amount of money to spend? >> of applied to all. it would fit the definition. >> have you heard from the tour
11:09 am
bus companies? what are they called? >> generally, i think that they are concerned, especially if it is a short time line that we are meeting with them to discuss what is reasonable. >> thank you. >> commissioners, any other questions? >> i have been to other countries and i have seen a lot of their tour bus in use is -- tour buses using headphones. it would save money for those companies that don't need to have an english toward -- tour for a japanese tour.
11:10 am
>> i agree that the large obnoxious buses needed to be reined in. i am sensitive to the issue of it. this is raised with the very small cable cars and possibly this could be phased in for a time line given to the smaller operators and it might take them longer to make a change. we were dealing with limited life performance and amplified sound. it graduated. there is a little amplified sound and big amplified sound. i don't know how you would like to do with it but that is what
11:11 am
she just expressed. >> we are looking if there is a way to separate out smaller operators? as far as i know, there are 10 major sightseeing companies in the city that have opened their buses. >> they seem to be multiplying. i see more of those double decker buses than i ever have. >> and even the small ones, i happen to live on a tourist site. those little small things, they are so loud. they are. the are really very intrusive. personally, i appreciate this because i have to year that same talk like 20 times a day. >> i have received lots of feedback from across the city.
11:12 am
i would to speak to the alamo square neighborhood association. we got e-mail from all across the city where people made the same statements all over and over again. >> i like this legislation because where i live on 20, i hear them every day. sometimes, early saturday morning going up market street. i do like this. i have the same concerns. there are some smaller and smaller operators in the city. i have actually been --
11:13 am
if there's something that we can phase in with those operators, this is the big double decker buses that are really interested and i would hate to penalize the smaller mom and pop operators which there are very few of in the city. we can grandfathered them in and so we can meet these operations immediately, give them something they can afford. they have been here for generations of with like to see something working out with those type of people. the big ones, do something, shut them up. >> to do you have any plan for the smaller operators? >> well, i guess my plan would be to go and see if we could have them on a separate time
11:14 am
line as the larger companies. >> i wanted to use an example where it is readily achievable of that concept and where it must be achieved over a certain time with the small businesses. it might take a longer amount of time. we have an example with our requirements, businesses have to come into compliance but over time. >> did we have any concerns or did we have any that wanted to be invoiced already? >> they have been addressed. >> we have to go to public comment.
11:15 am
>> members of the public might have three minutes to address the commission. >> i am a surviving resident and i very much appreciate this legislation that has been presented. we have attended many meetings on this subject and it truly is affecting the quality of life for the residents. we were talking with them on many issues and they are a tough group to go against. they are very big and they are hard to handle and they have made some compromises. we very much appreciate your support. thank you. >> any further public comment? take your time.
11:16 am
>> good afternoon, commissioners. i was here on another matter but this one will be close to my hard. i saw them flying by. the downside would be that these operators to bring their vehicles down our streets, they do at least show off our street even though they are flying by. the downside is that those double-deckers', they go down and union street and they all turn right on buchanan. they don't go all the way down. they can go straight down the mosque. perhaps there are some routing issues that had been brought about.
11:17 am
the upside is that anything that we could get to see our street is an advantage and i do support them keep in the noise at reasonable levels. if it is during business hours are reasonable hours of operation, then i can see that being advantage. thank you very much. >> thank you. are there any other further public comments? >> i do agree. we are a tourist town and tourism is the number-one industry in the city. all lot of the neighborhoods, they do bring the people in neighborhoods, especially those that did the drop on, drop off.
11:18 am
you were talking about with the entertainment commission, lately i've noticed they are allowed. the commissioner says that if you go to new york can you go overseas to these other cities where they deplore on -- where they depend on headphones. >> we are talking about a very well capitalized industry. on the whole, the tour operators with these very large buses are not small mom-and-pop, they are in some cases multinational businesses. i can think of two. i don't think that this is a hardship in a technological age and thinking about language access, this will be fine for
11:19 am
them. i do support it and i think we should have a motion. >> would you like to propose a motion? >> i would like to move to support this and suggest working with the smallest locally owned operators to develop an implementation plan for them. no longer than two years. also, in that process, would you please request that they are sensitive to noise levels. >> i have a motion to support the ordinance and support working with the small operators and to set an implementation. no longer than two years.
11:20 am
>> second. >> all those in favor? >> with that objection, so approved. >> thank you. >> you are now on item number seven, discussion of possible action to make recommendations to the board of supervisors on board of supervisors file number 110656 which is to require cellphone retailers to provide their customers of information regarding that how to limit exposure to radio frequency energy emitted by cellphone in place of the mandatory
11:21 am
disclosure of specific absorption rate values. >> give us one second. >> we need -- >> in light of my husband's employment with at&t, i have to recuse myself. >> >> i second the motion. >> any objections? >> we are here to get support behind some of the amendments to update the cellphone rights. we were here before you and we're very pleased to earn your
11:22 am
support in the original ordinance. with the ordinance -- what the board as requires is that retailers post this levels of the specific absorption rate bubble for each phone at the point of sale. this will vary in range. the ordinance requires that retailers make information on how to reduce exposure to the upper frequency. the amendments would take away the label which to make it much easier for the individual retailers to comply and instead require that each phone sold, they are given information on how to respond to the radio frequency. we determined that this might not be the most accurate or reliable way to determine
11:23 am
radiation from a cell phone. it really depends how far you are from the antenna, what type of system you are operating. that is not really a pinpoint accuracy. also, there is a setting that reviewed hundreds of articles and the international panel of experts determined that the phones are possibly carcinogenic to humans. that was a much stronger statement than we had earlier about the possible risks. they went on to say the director of the international research on cancer said that is important at different research is conducted into the long-term use of mobile phones and we certainly agree with that. pending of the availability, it
11:24 am
is pour in to take a pragmatic measures to reduce exposure. even the world health organization has said that you want to reduce your exposure in light of not having full information. the amendment to this ordinance as a great thing of making it easy to comply while at the same time increasing the level of information available because rather than just having the radiation information available on a passive level, it will be given out for each phone. >> thank you very much. >> i want to say that i appreciate the revamp of this which makes it hard to comply for the smaller businesses. thank you. >> any of the commissioners? >> i would like to ask a couple of questions.
11:25 am
so, what has changed specifically from before. they will still have to post a sign in the store? >> that's the same. then they will have to give out information and how to reduce exposure. previously, they were required to put a notification on each phone that was for sale with the specific absorption rate. >> how did they do it now? they're giving them the phone. >> you give them information on the radio frequency energy. >> is that information already available on the box or the cover?
11:26 am
>> it might be in the instruction books. this is not top of the mind. >> if there are no further questions, i will open up to public comment. >> members of the public may address the commission for up to three minutes. >> i have some letters of opposition from individual retailers that operate in the city. there is a committee meeting earlier on the same ordinance before the city operations and the neighborhood services committee and they attended that hearing and had to give back to their businesses. with the escalating penalties in this ordinance, the previous
11:27 am
speaker is correct. there is no -- that is posted for each cell phone display. the materials need to be handed out and a poster needs to be put up in the store. with this there is escalating penalties. if the retailer for gets to market label, for guests to hand out a pamphlet, it might have them available for every that comes in the store. any consumer can request a pamphlet. that opens it to penalties. this will be unduly burdensome to the mom and pop cellphone retailers. with more independent cellphone retailers then the carrier-own
11:28 am
stores, this will disproportionate impact those mom-and-pop stores. this will also place retailers in the untenable position of having to answer questions about radio frequency emissions and that they are not appropriately trained to answer. i've been in the industry for five years and there are certain issues with this that i still don't fully grasp. imagine the retailers that might have just one employee who was a teenage student being put in the position of answering those highly scientific questions. if there is a place for regulation, this is best that the federal level. the consumers, retailers, and wireless carriers can receive guidance from the expert federal agencies that studied this issue. as the previous speaker noted,
11:29 am
there was a classification that came out in may and they are updated of june, 2011. some parties recommend that you take practices to reduce rf exposure. >> are there any public speakers on this item? public comment is closed. >> i would like to ask the representative a clarifying question. the previous speaker stated that they would